Non-Toxic DIYing with Milk Paint?

Non-toxic milk paint.

Like the idea of painted old wood furniture or adding paint to your other DIY projects, but don’t like the idea of using toxic VOC-filled paints?

Consider milk paint instead. That’s right. Milk. Paint. Milk paints are water-based paints that are made from milk and lime with added pigments. It’s been around for thousands of years and was even used by early humans to create cave paintings and other decorative objects. Many people most likely associate the paint finish with colonial-era furniture and finishes. The advent of petrochemicals saw the rise of oil-based and acrylic paints, but milk-based paints are again gaining in popularity for those looking to avoid VOC-laden paints that are also difficult to dispose of safely.

While it is possible to make your own homemade milk based paint, if you are so inclined, it’s also possible (and way easier) to purchase it if you are looking for a more consistent product, or need to cover a larger area. Buyer beware, though, some suppliers sell paint that creates a milk-like paint effect, but which still contain VOC-producing chemicals. Both Real Milk Paint Company and Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint are both non-toxic and contain no VOCs.

Milk-based paints, which generally produces a delicious saturated matte effect, come in powdered form and must be mixed with water before use. But don’t let this necessary step deter you. The process is actually pretty simple as demonstrated by Dwayne Siever, founder of Real Milk Paint Company, in this video tutorial.

The paint works well for both furniture refinishing projects as well as on walls. There are special considerations when painting on walls, like whether you are painting directly on drywall or not, the type of joint compound used, and more. It’s probably best to do some research first before deciding to tackle painting your walls with the paint.

Milk-based paint is definitely ideal for DIY furniture projects of all kinds. From creating a Union Jack buffet to painting up a child’s dollhouse with a safe non-toxic alternative, the Internet is awash in inspiration. Here are a few of our favorite DIY projects to get your creativity working overtime.

Milk Paint Projects

  1. Milk Paint Kitchen Cabinets
  2. Distressed Dresser Layered Milk Paint
  3. Plank Wall with Milk-Based Paint
  4. Milk Paint Piano
  5. Two Toned Dresser

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Milk Paint Colors Image via Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.